Tuesday Afternoon, Half Day
Adaptive Object-Model Architecture: How to Build Systems That Can Dynamically Adapt to New Business Requirements
Convention Ctr — Room 15
Federico Balaguer, Software Architecture Group - Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois
Joseph Yoder, Software Architecture Group - Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois

Architectures that can dynamically adapt to changing requirement are sometimes called “reflective” or “meta” architectures. We call a particular kind of reflective architecture an “Adaptive Object-Model (AOM)” architecture. This tutorial will explain AOMs and how to implement them. An Adaptive Object-Model is a system that represents classes, attributes, and relationships as metadata. It is a model based on instances rather than classes. Users change the metadata (object model) to reflect changes in the domain. These changes modify the system’s behavior. In other word, it stores its Object-Model in a database and interprets it. Consequently, the object model is active, when you change it, the system changes immediately. We have noticed that the architects of a system with Adaptive Object-Models often claim this is the best system they have ever created, and they brag about its flexibility, power, and eloquence. At the same time, many of the developers find them confusing and hard to work with. This is due in part because the developers do not understand the architecture. This tutorial will give a description of this architectural style and will make it easier for developers to understand and build systems that need to quickly adapt to changing business requirements.

Attendee Background: A good knowledge of object concepts is required. It would be useful if participants have a basic understanding of frameworks, though it is not necessary. A general understanding of the GOF patterns is required and Fowler’s Analysis Patterns is helpful.

Presenters: Federico Balaguer has been developing object-oriented software for over ten years. He has worked on many projects including J.P. Morgan in Argentina. He is currently working on implementing Martin Fowler’s Analysis Patterns at Illinois Department of Public Health and is also working with Professor Ralph Johnson on finishing his Ph.D.

Joseph W. Yoder has worked on the architecture, design, and implementation of various software projects dating back to 1985. Recently he has taught Object-Oriented concepts including Patterns and Smalltalk to Caterpillar and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) analysts and developers, and has mentored many developers on the development applications being deployed across the state of Illinois such as the Newborn Screening application, the Refugee System, and the Food Drug and Dairy application. He is also coordinating the efforts of this development as the primary architect of the reusable frameworks being developed. Joe is the author of over two dozen published patterns and has been working with patterns for a long time, writing his first pattern paper in 1995, and chairing the PLoP‘97, conference on software patterns.

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